It all started with an idea, and being that I'm an INTP, I'm not a stranger to ideas. Anyway, the idea was that I could clarify the 8 MBTI functions (Ne/Ni/Se/Si/Fe/Te/Fi/Ti) by using the Big Five in a sort of matching pairs kind of fashion.
The Big Five traits are: Extroversion (E/I), Neuroticism (no correlation shown, but often mistaken for F/T and J/P), Openness (N/S), Agreeableness (F/T), and Conscientiousness (J/P). The parentheses show the best MBTI comparison for each.
That would mean that for each function things would match up as follows:
Ne = extroversion + openness
Ni = introversion + openness
Se = extroversion + low openness
Si = introversion + low openness
Fe = extroversion + agreeableness
Fi = introversion + agreeableness
Te = extroversion + unagreeableness
Ti = introversion + unagreeableness
The Big Five theory presents 6 sub-traits for each of the five main traits. That led me to conclude I should take the formula above and match up the pairs of sub-traits associated with each of 2 traits involved for a whopping total of 36 pairs associated with each function. That's when it became obvious that this is complicated, but I pressed on anyway only to find more complications. :workout:
I started with Ne (imagine ENTPs and ENFPs at work here) and began considering what kind of thinking would result from each sub-trait pair. The first sub-trait of extroversion is dubbed "friendliness," and it represents how likely you are to socialize with individuals. The first sub-trait of openness is dubbed "imagination," and it is your tendency to engage in fantasy/unrealistic thinking. This spawned the question, "Which one is acting upon which?" Does being friendly and imaginative mean you're more likely to share your imaginations with people, does it mean you're more likely to imagine being with people in unrealistic ways, or does it mean both? If the answer is both, then that would double the possibilities for each pair and make this insanely more complicated.
Another problem was that some pairings don't seem to make much sense such as "activity level" and "emotionality." Activity level (E) involves how busy you like to be, how much stuff you like to do. Emotionality (N) reflects a sort of openness about emotions and easy access to them. It's hard to make much sense out of this. Do ENTPs and ENFPs have a tendency to consider their emotions frequently as a sort of activity? The reverse, how emotionality acts on activity level leaves me with a complete blank.
A final problem I realized is that it seems sometimes pairs of sub-traits from one trait can act together either without another trait or with one or more sub-traits from another trait, thus completely destroying my neat little pairings of sub-traits.
So, in conclusion, the idea turned out to be a massive fail due to becoming too complicated and sometimes not making sense. It only served to show how truly complex the human experience is and that it cannot be easily defined and categorized. Now it probably won't be long before I go back into hiding inside the deep, dark confines of other parts of the internet.